Microsoft has created a program for electronics manufacturers that combines basic hardware with Windows CE .Net or Windows XP Embedded to entice more vendors to try Windows for new products.
Under the new Windows Embedded Evaluation Hardware Kitting Program, electronics makers can get Windows CE .Net or Windows XP pre-loaded on the board they use at the heart of a new product, Microsoft said.
Before, the manufacturers would have to load the software onto the hardware themselves.
Additionally, electronics companies can build as many as 1000 units of the product without having to pay a software licensing fee.
They will also get the Windows Embedded Evaluation Toolkit, director of Microsoft’s Embedded and Appliance Platform Group, Debby Fry Wilson, said.
“You get the operating system and the tools for free; in addition, you get to build a device image and deploy that up to 1000 units with no license fees involved,” she said.
Such extra units typically were used for demonstrations and testing.
Previously, Microsoft charged a licensing fee once the operating system was used in more than one unit, she said.